Amongst the vineyards of Basbina in Lebanon, an award winning architectural project was carried out by the practice of Raed Abillama Architects. Beneath a 140 year old stone house, a preexisting cellar was redeveloped to accommodate the modern winery of IXSIR, a well-known local brand, established in 2008.
The stunning interior of the original structure with stone arches and majestic open spaces creates a backdrop for a journey of discovery into the mystery of the creation of fine wine. A spiral staircase leads down to the administrative and management offices and from there on, the secrets are revealed as the visitor is guided along gently sloping ramps and a maze of precast concrete, to the underground spaces where the fermentation process is carried out in huge vats and later to the temperature and humidity controlled space of the storage cellar.
Through a seamless integration of the old and the new, the heritage structure and the modern efficiency of the production process and forward thinking management structure of the brand is exhibited within the well thought out design of the architects, a design which does not impose on the natural beauty of the site. The IXSIR winery, a name from Arabic which means ‘elixir’, is out to prove that there is nothing to hide in their upmarket winery and welcome visitors to experience the method in which an ancient process is transferred into a 21st century winery.